Birth of Cinema in Kyoto: 1908

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Shinnyo-Do Temple has a monument to the birth of local cinema in Kyoto, Japan. It’s to the left as you face the main temple. The plaque explains: In 1895 the Lumiere brothers developed the Cinematographe in France. Two years later, in 1897, businessman Katsutaro Inabata… read more…

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Vantage Vintage Kinoptik

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Vantage Film has a rental office in Saint-Denis, Paris. Now they are re-introducing venerable sets of French glass from the 1950s: 35mm cine format Kinoptik cine lenses, rehoused and rebarreled. These are lenses with a distinct character, unique bokeh, and a kind of swirly, impressionist feel to out-of-focus backgrounds. Alexander Bscheidl said, “This is an optical renaissance of classic Kinoptiks, rehoused for the modern age.” read more…

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Cooke 35-140 Anamorphic Zoom

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Cooke Optics has revealed details of their impending Front Anamorphic zoom. It will be 35-140 mm and may begin shipping around NAB 2016. Like the rest of the Cooke Anamorphic/i family, it will be a front anamorphic design, 2x squeeze ratio, with familiar oval bokehs. read more…

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Canon Expo: A Very Good Year

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Canon Expo takes place every 5 years in select cities around the world: New York, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai. It was a wonderful display of new technology, science experiments, leading edge products and audacious concepts from Canon’s engineering teams, an intoxicating mix of actual as well as proof of concept technology. There was  an APS-H-size  CMOS sensor with 250 million pixels. Video on a Canon prototype camera showed detail on the Eiffel Tower 11 miles away. This year we were treated to an 8K camera and lens.  Like the mountain-climber’s phrase, Canon sometimes does things because it’s there…or because they can. Please read the two interviews that follow — with Mr. Maeda,  Senior Managing Director, and Mr. Okada, Deputy CEO — for additional insight. read more…

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Shooting Video with Leica SL

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Leica’s new SL (Spiegellos – Mirrorless) Camera shoots superb  4K 4096×2160 24p Video. The camera exposes stills in either Leica Format (24x36mm) or APS-C. Video is recorded in 4K 24p or UHD 30p in APS-C format, as well as HD in Full Frame Leica… read more…

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Worth the Trip

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As they say in the Michelin guidebooks, it’s definitely “worth the trip.” There are three very good reasons to visit Weiden, Germany. 1. Have dinner nearby,  in the best restaurant in Germany. Chef Thomas Kellermann is a maestro, presiding over a kitchen surely staffed by muses. 2. Spend the night in recently renovated rooms above the restaurant, in the Relais & Chateau Burg Wernberg. The castle was built in 1280. 3. Visit Vantage Film, ten minutes away, home of Hawk lenses and mother-ship of world-class rental houses in Weiden, Prague, Paris, and Berlin. read more…

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Code Name Max

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Its code name was Max. Designers of the new Leica SL autofocus, full frame (Leica Format), mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera  said Max stood for “maximum,” or “to the max.” However, other Maxes lurk in Leica’s history. Max Berek developed the lens for the first Leica Model A (Leica I) camera. It was a 50mm f/3.5  fixed lens, named Elmax, apparently  from the letters E (Ernst) L ( Leitz) and Max (Berek). The real name is SL for “Spiegellos” (mirrorless).

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Leica SL 35mm Full Frame Autofocus

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Cut to the chase: favorite things about the new Leica SL Full Frame Mirrorless 35mm camera introduced today at Leica HQ in Wetzlar. Sharpest EVF I’ve looked through on a still camera: 4.4 Megadots. Very rapid autofocus and Optical Image Stabilized lenses. PL adapter… read more…

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Leica SL

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 Wetzlar Germany. Leica introduces 35mm full frame mirrorless fast autofocus camera. More than 4-million dot EVF. 4K video. 24 MP sensor. Works with all M,T, R lenses, new SL generation, and PL.

Sony RX1R2 Palm-Size Full Frame Camera

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Sony unveiled the new palm-sized full-frame RX1R2 Camera.  It’s a 35mm full-frame format (24x36mm) digital still camera with a 42.4 Megapixel sensor, attached ZEISS Sonnar 35mm f/2 lens, variable optical low pass filter, and pop-up EVF. The variable OPLF of the Sony RX1R2 lets you adjust the amount of moiré and artifact reduction. read more…

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Canon M10, G5 X, G9 X

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With PhotoPlus Expo coming up next week in New York, Canon is rolling out some new still cameras. The G5 X puts an eagerly-awaited EVF onto a 20.2 Megapixel, 1.0-inch CMOS sensor pocketable camera with fast f/1.8-2.8 4.2x zoom lens (35mm equivalent of  24-100mm). Canon’s G9X is smaller, has fewer features, slower and shorter zoom range, and no EVF. And Canon’s new M10 is a small mirrorless APS-C sensor camera with interchangeable lens mount that accepts EOS lenses using an adapter. read more…

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Ali’s AJA Asprey Films

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Ali Walker is a British filmmaker and artist. He has been working on fashion and beauty, product and corporate image films for Asprey using AJA CION cameras. Asprey London was founded in 1781. Their jewelery and luxury products continue a grand tradition of craftsmanship, quality, and design.  This was the first time they did a video project. read more…

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Cine Theft

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More than $8 million in cine equipment was reported stolen last year. What to do? Don’t leave equipment unattended. Don’t leave equipment unattended, even in locked vehicles. Lock up equipment in a safe area at night, even if the studio is locked. Treat camera equipment as risky business — like jewelry. At trade shows like IBC, watch your cameras and lenses like hawks, and hire guards. read more…

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ICG Emerging Cinematographers NYC

ICG’s 19th ANNUAL EMERGING CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARDS SCREENING & RECEPTION– NEW YORK CITY The International Cinematographers Guild, Emerging Cinematographer Awards NYC event will take place in New York City on Sunday, October 25, 2015, at 3:00 PM, at the School of Visual Arts Theatre,… read more…

ActionProducts Alexa Mini AKS

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“Made in Switzerland” makes me think of finely crafted watches, reliable mechanical things, and of course, ActionProducts — the Swiss manufacturers of very well-made camera accessories. ActionProducts’ new accessories give ARRI Alexa Minis the potential to become…gasp…your A-Camera. Let’s start at the back… read more…

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Captain Cooke and 135mm Anamorphic

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Ahoy there. EMIT in Paris has taken delivery of the new Cooke 135mm Anamorphic /i prime. The long-awaited Cooke 135 Anamorphic Prime was at IBC. Like the rest of the “S6” set, it’s a front anamorphic (oval bokehs). The current Cooke 2x… read more…

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Kino LED (Kino Flo Select LED)

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Kino Flo Select LEDs were two of the most exciting new lighting fixtures at IBC. Frieder must have bitten his lip when he first showed them to me and I said, “Oh, wow–Kino LEDs.” Because they look like the very familiar classic Kino Flo fixtures, but have smooth, soft Celeb-like LED illumination instead of fluorescent tubes. There will be two models: Select 30 (40.5 inches long, 12 lb) and Select 20 (26.5 inches long, 10 lb). Both are a mere 3 inches deep and 13″ high. A nice thing is you can put them in the trunk of most cars, which you can’t always do with a 4′ 2-bank or 4-bank fluorescent (48″ wide +). read more…

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IBC 2015 Slideshow

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Highlights of IBC 2015. read more…

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Cabriolet Lighting: Alpha 800 from K5600

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K5600 Lighting introduced their newest Alpha 800 HMI fixture. It’s like a cabriolet of lighting–convertible from Fresnel to Sharp shadow to focusing PAR in one unit. Like other members of the K5600 Alpha family, it has a quartz reflector that allows it to be aimed straight down.. The Fresnel lens is removable and can be replaced with a clear glass cover for wider, sharper, even spread. Add a skirt, and it becomes a Spacelite. Add a Lightbank, and it’s a softlight. Change the bulb orientation, and it becomes a focusing PAR.

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Ronford-Baker Atlas 0.4

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Ronford-Baker lightweight Atlas 0.4 Fluid Head is an excellent choice for ARRI Alexa, Alexa Mini, Amira, RED, Sony F5/55, Canon C300, etc. At 7 kg, it’s lighter and smaller than the familiar 9 kg Atlas 40 Head. • Tilt range +- 60⁰ • Two… read more…

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